Special to The Explorer

Tel Aviv University professor Asher Susser is the keynote speaker Thursday, Dec. 9, when the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona puts on its Northwest Division kick-off event.

The kickoff runs from 5 to 8 that Thursday at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador, 10000 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley.

Susser is the director of external affairs and senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is also the visiting scholar in modern Israel studies at the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona.

Funds raised from Northwest residents during the 2011 campaign directly affect Jewish programming in nine Northwest zip codes, a release said. Half the monies help pay for Northwest events, such as an Israeli film day in the SaddleBrooke DesertView Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 9, as well as monthly book clubs, Torah studies, men’s groups, and Rosh Chodesh programs. These events take place throughout northwest locations in Oro Valley, SaddleBrooke, Dove Mountain, Marana, Sun City, Casas Adobes and adjacent communities.

Other funds raised by Northwest residents support “beneficiary agencies in Tucson, Israel, and around the world,” the release said.

During the kick-off, the Jewish Federation introduces the Local Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides assistance with housing costs, food, job placement and more.

To learn more, contact Northwest Division Director Anne Lowe at 577-9393, extension 130, or alowe@jfsa.org. The kickoff event is open to all. The price is $15 per person, and includes hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Reservations are required. To RSVP, visit www.jewishtucson.org or call 577-9393 or email events@jfsa.org.

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